Infochemistry and infofuses for the chemical storage and transmission of coded information.
This article describes a self-powered system that uses chemical reactions--the thermal excitation of alkali metals--to transmit coded alphanumeric information. The transmitter (an "infofuse") is a strip of the flammable polymer nitrocellulose patterned with alkali metal ions; this pattern encodes the information. The wavelengths of 2 consecutive pulses of light represent each alphanumeric character. While burning, infofuses transmit a sequence of pulses (at 5-20 Hz) of atomic emission that correspond to the sequence of metallic salts (and therefore to the encoded information). This system combines information technology and chemical reactions into a new area--"infochemistry"--that is the first step toward systems that combine sensing and transduction of chemical signals with multicolor transmission of alphanumeric information.
Thomas, SW; Chiechi, RC; LaFratta, CN; Webb, MR; Lee, A; Wiley, BJ; Zakin, MR; Walt, DR; Whitesides, GM
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